Mercury in your Astrology Birth Chart
At the highest level, Mercury is the Messenger of the Gods. At his highest level, he communicates the divine to us.
How does he do this? He does this through creating concepts and creating conceptual awareness.
He connects our minds to the universal, to the meaning beyond the realm of form, Maha Maya.
At the next highest level, Mercury connects us to the deepest qualities of our mind. He enables us to figure out the key things of our life, to give needed form to the inchoate, to bring to light that what is held in darkness and unconscious. And because he is also messenger of the Gods, this enables us to evaluate and prioritise and take control of our idea, our ideals, our conceptual frameworks. Mercury infuses the chosen top priority mental insights highest with connection to the Gods. And in order to evoke that which is so hard to express he can he give it form as symbols, speech, scientific concept or poetry. And so, the dimension of purity and efficiency comes in: what is the best way to express our crucial concepts and insights? This is Mercury’s domain.
So already, Mercury emerges as Divine go-between: the go-between of the gods. He expresses highest philosophy of Jupiter. His expression can take on the beautiful form of Jupiter. It can be channelled and intuitive from Neptune. He can take on the exactitude of Saturn. The zany revolutionary éclat of Uranus.
In Vedic myth, Mercury was said to have The Moon as his father. In other words, Mercury is the articulation of our unconscious mind. It is an important principle that Mercury does not initiate thinking, but organises and analysis ideas.
Mercury is concerned with naming. The highest expression of this is the names of God, there was the Divine Litany. When I was five I remember being so moved by the Litany of the Divine Parises. I studied Skanda vale: ‘Om Blessed be God. Om blessed be his many Holy Names.’ If Mercury is conjunct Ketu in your chart, you may tend to change your name. Mercury learns to discriminate between divine nuances and issues in naming, and that which is the product of materialistic social paradigm or lower spiritual form. Mercury can discriminate between the shafts of illumination from inner consciousness and the falseness and slogans of the material world, or the truisms of the torturing dysfunctional family. This highest capacity for mercury is called Budha in Vedic Astrology. As our Mercury awakens it creates enlightened mind or Buddhi. So, an enlightened one is called a Buddha. At his highest, Mercury is the most precise and perfect functioning of the Mind, discriminating the Eternal from the transient, Truth from Illusion. It is the Mind of Vishnu, the cosmic intelligence.
Astronomically, Mercury races round the Sun in his orbit, and his Retrograde periods are frequent. In Mercury Retrograde periods, we will encounter all sorts of hiccups in computer processes, archiving, posts, communications and commerce, especially if we have Mercury Retrograde in our own birth chart or if Mercury is conjunct Ketu or if we have Moon in a Mercury-ruled nakshatra (see below for this detail).
In ancient Mythologies, we have different understandings and perspectives as to the nature and role of Mercury – and it is so valuable to go beyond the Vedic or the Graeco-Roman frameworks for the fuller understanding of the nature of Mercury. Roman Mercury was the familiar God of the Romans with his winged shoes and Caduceus. As with all the planets, knowledge of the Mythological dimension of each planet deeply enhances our interpretation and awareness of how the energy of a planet will manifest in our life, or in the lives of others whose charts we study.
Hermes of the Greeks, was similar. We ;earn about him from Homer’s Hymn to Mercury. and interestingly there was the craft dimension to the Greek Mercury or Hermes: when Mercury was born as the child of Zeus and the nymph Maia, the first thing the precocious child saw as he emerged from the cave was a tortoise and he stole its shell and fashioned the shell into a lyre. Then he went further and stole the cattle of the Sun. when found out he impressed the gods by handing over both lyre and cattle to Zeus and Apollo made Hermes the conductor of Souls to the Underworld of Hades, hence, like Thoth: the Psychopomp. And furthermore, Greek Hermes possessed the Caduceus of healing rod. The Caduceus is the tool of integrated healing, not at all the deracinated western allopathic medicine principle, which is divorced from the total wellness of the individual and armed with medications that can harm as much as they might cure the symptoms.
But Ogma, God of the Tuatha de Danaan of the ancient Irish had more stature by far than Roman Mercury. Ogma was both the fighter and the writer, who invented the Ogham the ancient Celtic Irish tree Alphabet. Then, as I mentioned, there was Buddha of the Vedas.
Thoth of the Egyptians was God of Magic as well as writing, and very strongly connected to the Moon like Buddha, and Thoth was a psychopomp. The role of Psychopomp is a crucial part of Mercury’s nature that got forgotten by the Romans, and hence by rationalist modern western culture too. And the union of Mercury and Moon brings in the crucial dimension of Memory, which is also lacking from Roman Mercury.
In Babylonian theology, the King of the Gods was Murdock, who slew the female serpent Tiamat. Murdock sired Nebo, who was Mercury: The Scribe. Nebo was a dignified and solemn God responsible for writing down the Laws and Edicts of Mardock.
Mercury is also connected with quicksilver: the element Mercury rolls round any surface chameleon-like in changing shape and rapidity of direction shifting.
And very importantly, the ancient Norse God Odin seized the writing and magic of the Runes and gave the gift of writing to the Norther peoples, after hanging upside down in the world tree of nine days trancing in and out of delirium as the meanings of the letters came clear to him from the shapes of the twigs and branches. Odin is very Mercurial, with his Ravens: Hugin and Munin: Thought and Memory/Mind bringing him news from all the Nine Worlds of reality
We thus begin to build up our picture of Mercury:
Mercury’ capacity for naming and exactitude extends his realm into writing, organisation health and right living, artistic values and business transactions.
Mercury’s energy is that of the child. He indicates the state of childhood, troubles in home life, health problems in childhood, or difficulties at school.
Mercury’s gender is hermaphrodite. Mercury’s character is chameleon-like and androgynous. he takes on the energy of the planets around it.
His energy is mental, nervous and articulate. He is necessarily critical. Though it’s not nice to be critical in some ways, nor to be on the receiving end of the critical. One of the Seven Rays that came down to the modern West from Alexandrian Egypt is the rather unendearing Ray of: ‘Harmony Through Conflict’. So above all we must note the need for mercury to be joined to Compassion. This is a key principle.
So, Mercury is speech, discriminating conscious intellect, education, teachers, writing, ideas, trade: buying and selling, short journeys, nervous system and nervous disorders. Mercury signifies quick comprehension, facility and plasticity of expression, correlation and interchange of ideas. Mercury can be associated with crafts and the repair man, the lock smith. The ‘puer eternus’ of the eternally young intellectual or comic. Peter Pan.
And of course Mercury is the divine principle of ‘local travel’. Remember, Mercury orbits the Sun in only 88 days. He can never be more than 28 degrees from the Sun. Remember, as with all the planets, the slower the velocity of the planet in the heavens, the more powerful and trenchant his effect, and so when Mercury in our birth chart is stationary or Retrograde and thus with slower than usual velocity, this is an individual whose mercury scripts are so much more prominent and powerful in his life. The slower-moving Mercury is in your birth chart, the more deliberate will be your mental processes. The further Mercury is from the Sun in your chart, the faster and more deracinated your mental processing will be. But, conversely if your Mercury is combust, then Mercury will be ‘burnt ‘and your concepts will be damaged by the impact of the Solar ego on your concepts and thoughts. And of course, if Sun and Mercury are in the same degree, then there is planetary war or yuddh. And of course, as is the case with all the planets, the Sign and House that Mercury occupies in your birth chart, the Ruler of mercury’s sign and the signs/Houses that Mercury rules, and the aspects from other planets that Mercury receives, will all deeply colour the way in which Mercury will manifest in your life.
Fallen Mercury is the childish view of life, the thief and the liar. Immaturity, naivety and folly. The swindler. Sense of entitlement and privilege. Negative Mercury is over-thinking, endless questioning, inability to find and embody the answer, lack of capacity for intuitive knowing.
In Vedic Astrology, Mercury rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo. And he rules the nakshatras of Ashlesha, Jyestha and Revati. These are Nakshatras 9, 18 and 27. Significantly, each of these three Nakshatras ends in the three Gandanta zones, and so goes beyond Mercury conceptualisation into the total vastness of the void and the God Realm.
It is significant that Hasta, which is the Nakshatra which is all about skill and craft and falls within the Crafts and Skill sign of Mercury-rule Vedic sign Virgo, is ruled by the Moon. So here we have the connection of Moon and Mercury made clear and important yet again. in my Vedic Astrology courses, you can learn about Avasthas: the effect of one planet on another in your birth chart.
Noteworthy is that the effect of the Moon in my own birth chart is quite totally unusual and exceptional. My Moon boosts my Mercury from my Mercury’s raw score of 505 points or Rupas to an astounding 1058 Rupas. My Moon boost my Jupiter from my Jupiter’s raw score of 504 Rupas to an again totally exceptional 1158 Rupas. Here’s the Avasthas calculation table from Kala software:
Another area of life that Mercury represents is commerce and the articles of trade. Mercury thus opens communication between people, though if afflicted he will exploit people, and he can indicate our trade or profession. He likes standards and prices and scales of measurement and organization. Mercury is thus a key to the issue of money in our life, and afflicted Mercury can damage money in our life.
Strong Mercury is The Trickster. Strong Mercury is needed to fully express the qualities of the other planets, for example: Jupiter. But what is strong? Strong does not necessarily mean ‘good’!
Weak Mercury rationalizes, lies and is fickle, and may be the Fool, a thief or one who has a childish view of the world – he can produce hallucinations and a neurotic schizoid view of life.
Modern western culture is dominated by Mercury communication, allied to the technology of Mars.
Here is more Mercury Astrological Data:
Mercury is Karaka (indicator) for 2nd House (as communication and thinking) and 10th House (as profession). Mercury is best placed in the first House.
The friends who welcome Mercury into their Houses are Sun and Venus.
The Moon is an enemy to Mercury.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are neutral to it.
Saturn – Mercury aspects can indicate dulled or delayed intelligence.
Afflictions to Mercury indicate speech defects, dyslexia.
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